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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Skowmon Hastanan

Bronx, NY
USA

Skowmon Hastanan was born in Thailand and lives and works in New York. She received her BFA from School of Visual Arts, 1985 and has won several public art commissions including faceted glass design, 233 Street Subway, NYC MTA Arts for Transit, and floatglass painting, PS 228, NYC Board of Education, Percent for Art Commission, and Chinatown In/Flux, (Philadelphia, PA). Hastanan participated in the following national and international exhibitions: Wave Hill, (NY), Pier 2 Arts District (Taiwan), Jamaica Center for Arts (NYC), Gallery 4A (Sydney), Real Art Ways (Hartford), Fészek Galleria (Budapest, Hungary), Delta Axis Art Center (Memphis), Randolph Street Gallery (Chicago), A Space (Toronto). For Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network she organized “The Curio Shop, New World Order III” (Artist’s Space), “Urban Encounters” (New Museum, NYC), and “Why Asia?” (Art in General, NYC). She has collaborated with EMPOWER Foundation, Thailand, a center for the protection of the rights of women in the entertainment sector. This collaborative project was included in the exhibition “Dismantling Invisibility: Asian and Pacific Islander Artists Respond to the AIDS Crisis,” 1991.

Feminist Artist Statement

My family migrated from Thailand to United States about 30 years ago. My approach to art is a combination of two cultures. The topics presented in my works are the trafficking of individuals, tourism, and immigration experiences. I explore feminine identity using found images from magazines, stamp collections, historical objects, Eastern religious motifs, and classified advertisements.

<p>The Property of A Lady: An Impressive Emerald and Diamond Lavaliere</p>

The Property of A Lady: An Impressive Emerald and Diamond Lavaliere

Shaved graphite and metallic powder, acrylic medium, and graphite wash on vellum, 36” x 23 3/4”. In “The Property of A Lady,” the titles are taken from various estate auction sales. The description and pedigree of the sale objects has as much presence as the actual jewels as well as its anonymous owner. It is a drawing of feminine persona, an anonymous wealthy person whose material inheritance is representing her identity. In this context, colonial reference also comes to mind. These jewels are made from precious stones procured through empirical expansions. The stones, some famous with legend or lore, were acquired through wars, military conquests, and trading, changing hands from kingdoms in the Subcontinent, Africa, Europe and the New World.

The Property of A Lady: An Impressive Emerald and Diamond Lavaliere

Shaved graphite and metallic powder, acrylic medium, and graphite wash on vellum, 36” x 23 3/4”. In “The Property of A Lady,” the titles are taken from various estate auction sales. The description and pedigree of the sale objects has as much presence as the actual jewels as well as its anonymous owner. It is a drawing of feminine persona, an anonymous wealthy person whose material inheritance is representing her identity. In this context, colonial reference also comes to mind. These jewels are made from precious stones procured through empirical expansions. The stones, some famous with legend or lore, were acquired through wars, military conquests, and trading, changing hands from kingdoms in the Subcontinent, Africa, Europe and the New World.

Les femmes en route: Magnificent Journey

Inkjet prints on layered Plexiglas sheets, fluorescent light, 11 1/2” H x 55” W x 4 1/2” D.
Les femmes en route (“women-on-the-go”), or Women Travelers, are represented by ink jet figures taken from 1970’s Thai postage stamps. Each figure is placed inside a metaphorical icon – sapphire bubbles and diamonds—which represents a precious commodity.

Rubyscape

Inkjet on banner, 9’ x 7’

Goddess and Prostitutes, Red Moon

Graphite, newspaper cut out, and acrylic on Kraft paper, 9” x 12”. The “Goddess and Prostitutes series” of small-scale mixed media collages on Kraft paper and watercolor pencil drawings is my response to Asian sex classified ads in the “Village Voice.” These advertisements are colorful portraits of Asian women for sexual consumption. The ads sell their services by employing stereotypes and giving pseudo-exotic names to these women, with particular cropping and framing of their bodies and faces. I transformed these images, or rather transfigured, glorified and exalted these women into goddesses. I am using elements of horror and humor found in Himalayan religious paintings and Asian horror cinema, as well as following a stream of consciousness through free associations with other cutout pictures from jewelry and flower catalogues.

Les fleurs du mal

Newspaper and magazine cutouts, water-soluble wax pastel, and acrylic on watercolor paper, 8 1/2” x 11”

Professional Names

Newspaper cutouts, water-soluble wax pastel, and acrylic on watercolor paper, 8 1/2” x 11”

Roar!!! Miss Universe (friendly capitalism)

Digital photomontage. Variable dimensions.
This work is about the birth of Asian beauty as a universal commodity and the coming of American purchasing power. The images are a portrait of Apasra Hongsakula, the1965 Thai Miss Universe, smiling over the bursting dollars-dam-cartoon panel from the Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge “In only a poor old man.” A MK-82 bomber used in South Vietnam dropping erotic bombs of magenta orchids over the cum-gushing silver dollar.

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Bronx, NY
USA

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